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Former Congressman Patrick Murphy to endorse Gwen Graham for governor

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Former Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Graham

Former Congressman Patrick Murphy's flirtation with a run for governor is ending, with the Democrat expected to endorse his former Washington colleague, Gwen Graham, today.

The announcement is expected at a 2 p.m. press conference today in Pembroke Pines. The endorsement was first reported by Politico.

For the last few months, Murphy has been toying with the idea of running for governor with Republican Congressman David Jolly, with the two even making campaign appearances on national television together.

The Murphy campaign reportedly made the decision Wednesday, based at least in part on the lack of fundraising clout Murphy and Jolly had this late in the game. Many of the major donors have already "committed" to other candidates. The two campaigns then spoke about it either last night or this morning.

Graham and Murphy served in Congress together, where they were both centrist Democrats. Murphy was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in 2016, losing to Republican Marco Rubio.

With Murphy's endorsement, the Democratic field for governor appears set. Graham is running against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, Orlando entrepreneur Chris King and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

Gillum's campaign used the endorsement to take a swipe at Graham, referencing her mention last month that she would consider Jolly, a staunchly anti-Trump Republican, as her running mate. Graham later said she would only choose a Democrat as her running mate.

"Does it come with David Jolly's endorsement too?" Gillum's communications manager, Geoff Burgan, wrote in a statement to the news media.

Herald/Times staff writer Emily Mahoney contributed to this report.

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